I noted this week that the MIT guys have been busy. These are the 'rocket-scientists' of America. They think of a problem, and solve it. Well....they finally built a bartender-robot.
I'm not sure of the priority of such a requirement, or if the pub-owners of America hinted that it might be more cost effective.....but they sat down and designed the first version of the bartender-robot.
The guys who designed the bartender-robot admit that there are limits to this. For example.....if someone drops a drink on the floor.....this robot doesn't have the ability to solve the problem or clean up the mess....at least not yet.
I'm guessing a couple of Japanese robot designers will look over this bit of news....spend three years in an enclosed lab and emerge with a robot who does all the drink business, and cleans up the dropped drink.
I noted that they didn't really give the drink robot a typical bartender name....like "Ernie" or "Mandy" or "Monty". This is one of the key things about a bartender.....there's an established relationship between bartender and the customer.
Bartenders serve this odd position in life.....providing consultation, judgement, recommendations and tips.
A guy screws up on a relationship, and within hours....he'll be at the bar to ask for advice. A gal makes a big mistake at the office, and within hours.....she'll be at the bar to seek guidance. A guy will lose big-time at a poker game and within hours.....he's at the bar to get an opinion on how to explain this significant loss to the wife.
How will the robot fit into this scheme? I'm not sure. Maybe they can eventually program "Elvis 2.0" to stand there while serving a drink, and note the three big rules of a failed relationship, or rattle off the five best TV shows of the 1970s, or discuss rocket-science issues over dishwashers. Maybe you could tie this robot into Goggle and he'd just answer question after question. Maybe at some point, after the third or fourth drink....."Elvis 2.0" would ask you for a blood sample to ensure you aren't drunk and he'd test you right there at the stool.
We are probably safe for another decade or so before this sort of stuff gets out of control and suddenly they show up in big-name bars in Seattle or Portland. It'll be another thirty years before they start to show up in the heartland and small towns.